Women’s Basketball: Samuelson scores 33, Nurse shines in homecoming game

UConn forward Napheesa Collier drives toward the hoop in the Huskies' 88-64 win over the Oklahoma Sooners Tuesday, Dec. 19 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. (Charlotte Lao, Associate Photo Editor/The Daily Campus)

UConn forward Napheesa Collier drives toward the hoop in the Huskies' 88-64 win over the Oklahoma Sooners Tuesday, Dec. 19 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. (Charlotte Lao, Associate Photo Editor/The Daily Campus)

Back in her home country of Canada, UConn guard Kia Nurse gave her fans plenty to cheer about in a 104-52 victory over Duquesne on Friday night. The Canadian scored 24 points in her homecoming game in front of a sellout crowd at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, Ontario.

Nurse, a senior from nearby Hamilton, Ontario, shot two air balls in the game, but was lights-out otherwise. She shot 9-11 from the field, including 4-6 from the 3-point line. Nurse received large ovations from the Toronto crowd in pregame introductions and again when she was taken out of the game with three minutes remaining.

Nurse is now shooting an impressive 55.8 percent from 3-point range this season, the best among women in Division I and fourth-best including the men’s side. Prior to her senior season, Nurse was a career 41.7 percent 3-point shooter.

Katie Lou Samuelson also had a great shooting night on Friday, going 8-9 from the 3-point line and 11-14 overall on her way to a game-high 33 points in 30 minutes. Nurse and Samuelson combined to shoot an absurd 80 percent from the field, making 20 of their 25 shots.

No. 1 UConn (10-0) got out to a 25-9 lead after the first quarter and didn’t look back, leading 54-22 at halftime. Eleven of thirteen Huskies saw action in the game, as Batouly Camara and Megan Walker sat out.

Crystal Dangerfield and Gabby Williams each recorded six assists for UConn. Williams also recorded eight rebounds, four steals and 12 points in a well-rounded performance. Napheesa Collier scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds as the third-leading scorer for the Huskies on the night.

Duquesne (10-3) was unable to extend its eight-game winning streak. The Dukes were led by junior Chassidy Omogrosso with 15 points and seven assists. Freshman Libby Bazelak also tacked on 14 points of her own.

The 52-point win is the Huskies’ largest margin of victory this season, surpassing a 35-point win over California in the second game of the season.

UConn enjoyed the blowout victory in its last game before American Athletic Conference play begins. The Huskies’ next non-conference game will be on Jan. 15 when they take on No. 8 Texas.

After a successful start to the season, UConn will get a well-earned break for the holidays. The Huskies are off from practice until Dec. 28 and their next game isn’t until Dec. 31 against Memphis.


Josh Buser is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering women’s basketball. He can be reached via email at joshua.buser@uconn.edu.